February 11, 2011
Over the past week, the entire state of Oklahoma has been ravaged by snow and ice.
Last week, the city of Shawnee accumulated 14 inches of snow.
This caused all of the schools in the area, including Oklahoma Baptist University, to close.
And now, weathermen predict that another snowstorm will hit Shawnee beginning Tuesday night into Wednesday.
This storm is said to dump another four to eight inches of snow according to NewsOK.com.
The campus was closed from Tuesday to Friday for the first storm, causing the university to lose several days of class.
So, many have questioned if or how the university will try to make up these days, especially with the threat of this recent storm.
At first, administrators wanted to wait until after the second storm before making any official decisions, said Dr. Paul Hammond, dean and professor of music of Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.
“Dr. Whitlock and Dr. Norman will make that determination after we see what this next round of snow brings,” Hammond said.
One of the biggest questions being asked is whether or not Spring Break will be canceled due to this abundant snowfall over the last two weeks.
But Hammond said that there are no plans to cancel Spring Break.
“Too many students and faculty already have plans,” he said.
Other administrators agreed.
“OBU has no plans to cancel Spring Break,” Marty O’Gwynn, Associate Vice President for University Communication said.
In fact, OBU is not required to make up the days lost to the snow at all, said O’Gwynn.
“The missed worked will be made up through the efforts of faculty members and students,” he said.
“That will probably include increased homework assignments to help compensate for missed class time.”
Still there is a chance that the schedule may be altered, O’Gwynn said.
“At this time we are not announcing any changes in class schedules for the balance of the semester,” he said.
“Academic leadership will assess the overall effects of winter closings to determine if any additional time will be needed for fulfilling classroom requirements. We will ensure that students are gaining the academic instruction necessary for each course.”
No records exist as to if this is the longest time that OBU has canceled class, but O’Gwynn said “in my 20 years here, this is the longest closing period OBU has faced. We have had times when the university was closed for up to three days, including early in 2007.”
As for extending the semester past May 13, that is also not in the plans of the administration and the university at this time.
Hammond said that the university would move to Saturday, if necessary before the semester was extended.
O’Gwynn said that this scenario is unlikely as well.
“There are no plans to extend the spring semester,” O’Gwynn said.
“Because of year-round calendars, it would be an extremely complicated process to try to push back the semester because other scheduled events depend on availability of university facilities in the days following Spring Commencement.”
So, it looks as though school will continue as planned unless something major or drastic happens with this storm.
Freshmen nursing major Emily Christensa said she is happy that the university is not going to extend the semester past the scheduled timeframe.
“College is purely a business,” said Ethan Stevens, a freshman anthropology major said.
“So unless we’re getting refunded for the days we didn’t go to class, then for us to go extra on the end of the year would be illegal.”